Honda Racing Corporation announced an overview of its factory team to compete in 2017-2018 FIM*1 Endurance World Championship (EWC) Series Round 5, The 41st “Coca-Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race (Suzuka 8 hours), to be held at the Suzuka circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan, during Thursday, July 26 through Sunday, July 29.
Team HRC, Honda’s factory team competing in the MFJ*2 All Japan Road Race Championship (JRR) JSB1000 class, will return to Suzuka 8 hours for the first time in a decade, teaming up with a new partner Red Bull, as “Red Bull Honda with Japan Post.”
Takumi Takahashi will be joined by Takaaki Nakagami, FIM MotoGP World Championship MotoGP class rider and Leon Camier, FIM Superbike World Championship (WSB) rider, who all will ride Honda’s CBR1000RRW factory bike based on the CBR1000RR SP2.
*1 FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
*2 MFJ: Motorcycle Federation of Japan
“I‘m thrilled that Honda returns to the Suzuka 8 hours as a factory team, and I’m a part of the team. I believe we’ve done a good job of preparing the bike using our experiences from the first half of this year’s JRR season. We haven’t won the Suzuka 8 hours for the past few years, and since we’re returning as a factory team, we’ll do everything we can to win the title back.”
“I’m excited as a rider, and as a part of the Honda family, that Honda returns to the Suzuka 8 hours as a factory team for the first time in a decade. We have a winning team, and the bike has the potential, but more than that, the team has the desire to win. Everyone at Honda wants Honda to take back the Suzuka 8 hours title. We unfortunately finished 4th last year, but now as a factory team, I, with the other two riders, will work together to win.”
“I’m looking forward to competing in the Suzuka 8 hours with Honda’s factory team. We’ve done testing for the Suzuka 8 hours and are completely prepared. Takumi [Takahashi] has won the Suzuka 8 hours three times, and Nakagami is a competitive MotoGP rider. Our combined effort is needed to win, so I firmly believe we can do it.”